January 3, 2018 / 6:07 AM / 9 months ago

German stocks - Factors to watch on January 3

FRANKFURT, Jan 3 (Reuters) - The following are some of the factors that may move German stocks on Wednesday:

AUTOS

Government experts have called for an end to the favourable tax treatment of diesel on environmental grounds, backing a call by Volkswagen AG CEO Matthias Mueller that sparked uproar in the German auto industry, reports Handelsblatt.

German drivers, companies and local governments are spurning state cash incentives to buy electric vehicles - only around 10 percent of the 600 million euros ($720 million) in such funding was used in 2016, writes Welt. The government provides a 2,000 euro rebate for electric vehicles, and 1,500 for hybrids.

German monthly car sales data expected.

U.S. monthly car sales data due later on Wednesday.

LUFTHANSA

The purchase of Alitalia’s operations is a “strategically important target” for Lufthansa now, after the takeover of Air Berlin’s Niki failed, Handelsblatt daily reported, citing an unnamed senior manager at Lufthansa. It also said Lufthansa could imagine paying 300 million euros for the business.

Separately, budget carrier Eurowings’ chief Thorsten Dirks told Rheinische Post that the Lufthansa unit would focus on digitalisation in 2018.

MERCK

Juniper Pharmaceuticals said its active discussions with Merck to extend the Crinone Progesterone Gel agreement were progressing, and that the expansion of this relationship remained a strategic priority for it.

AIR BERLIN/NIKI

A group representing airline passengers has taken legal action to shift insolvency proceedings for budget airline Niki to Austria from Germany, in a move that could endanger the sale of the Air Berlin unit to Britain’s IAG.

OVERSEAS STOCK MARKETS

Dow Jones +0.4 pct, S&P 500 +0.8 pct, Nasdaq +1.5 pct at close.

Japanese markets closed, Shanghai stocks +0.6 pct.

Time: 6.07 GMT.

GERMAN ECONOMIC DATA

German December jobless data due at 0900 GMT. Seen -12,000, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate seen at 5.5 pct vs 5.6 pct.

DIARIES

REUTERS TOP NEWS ($1 = 0.8300 euros) (Reporting by Douglas Busvine and Maria Sheahan)

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